Spain saw off a spirited Northern Ireland 5-1 thanks to goals from captain Gerard Deulofeu, Denis Suarez, Iker Hernandez (2) and Pol Calvet to go top of UEFA European Under-17 Championship elite round Group 5 and end Northern Ireland's qualification hopes.
Deulofeu opened the scoring after 19 minutes, cutting through the Northern Ireland defence before finishing superbly into the bottom left-hand corner. Suarez (31) chipped Conor Brennan to make it 2-0 and, two minutes before half-time, Ginés Meléndez's side extended their lead thanks to a cool finish from the impressive Hernandez.
Northern Ireland skipper David Morgan (59) gave his side brief hope of a comeback with an excellent free-kick but nine minutes later Hernandez's second of the afternoon and Ryan McLaughlin's red card put the result beyond any doubt. Pol Calvet completed the scoring in stoppage time.
Spain and England have maximum points from their two matches and they meet on Thursday with Meléndez's men requiring a point to progress, while Northern Ireland will be playing for pride when they face Belgium.
"It was a difficult match for us against a very competitive Northern Ireland team," Spain coach Meléndez told UEFA.com. "Thursday's decider against England will be a repeat of last year's final. It's a pity we have to decide who is going to qualify for the final tournament as we both deserve to be there but that's the way it is."
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|1||Alfonso Herrero (GK)|
|1||Conor Brennan (GK)|
|3||Antonio Luque||2||Ryan McLaughlin|
|4||Carlos Garrido||3||Matthew Clarke|
|5||Ivan Saez||4||Joseph Jones|
|7||Fede Vico||6||David Morgan (C)|
|12||Sergio Menéndez||8||Douglas Wilson|
|14||Pablo Iñiguez||9||Seamus McCartan|
|17||Gerard Deulofeu (C)|
|13||David Vázquez (GK)|
|12||Christopher Johns (GK)|
|2||Oscar Arroyo||13||Thomas Healey|
|8||Saúl Ñiguez||14||Thomas McAloon|
|9||Raul De Tomas|
|16||Iker Undabarrena||17||Joseph McKinney|
|18||Diego Caballo||18||David McAllister|
|Ginés Meléndez (ESP)||Paul Kee (NIR)|
|Yuriy Mozharovskyy (UKR)|
|Semen Shlonchak (UKR), Tom Dens (BEL)|
|Yuri Cosco (BEL)|